New Delhi: State-run power giant NTPC has deferred auction of 2,000 MW solar capacities to the first week of June as developers have sought resolution of inter-state connectivity issue before going ahead with the sale, people familiar with the matter said.

Besides, the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) is likely to extend the bid submission for 2,000 MW solar capacities scheduled for the first week of June, industry people with knowledge of the matter said. The people said that the NTPC’s 2,000 MW solar bid submissions scheduled on 21 May 2018, has been deferred to June first week after considering concerns expressed by developers about difficulties being faced for getting power evacuation connectivity through the inter-state transmission system.

The Solar Power Developers Association had written to the Ministry of New and Renewable (MNRE) to extend solar auctions till the issue related to grant of connectivity through inter-state transmission system is not resolved.

Developers had also raised the issue in the pre-bid meeting with MNRE and SECI officials last week. Power regulator Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) approved the procedure for grant of connectivity through inter-state transmission system in its order on 15 May 2018.

However, the people said that the industry feedback is awaited on the approved guidelines whether all concerns raised on the draft procedures have been resolved in the final order. The government has planned to auction 60 GW solar capacities in 2018-19 and 2019-20 in view of its ambitious target of having 100 GW solar energy capacity by 2022.

The auction of 60 GW solar capacity by March 2020 is important because it takes about 15 months to implement solar project after signing power purchase agreement. India has already achieved 22GW of solar capacity.

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